tom moody

VVork, Nasty Nets, Your Daily Awesome

Blogger wizardishungry said on his del.icio.us page that the Nasty Nets "halloween" thread was divisive and split along generational lines. The thread ensued after blogger Paddy Johnson lumped Nasty Nets into blogger Jason Kottke's list of Group Curated Blogs That Will Replace Snooty Art Experts In The Near Future. (This premise of Kottke's, standard new media triumphalism from the web/design/hacker community, rather ignores the drive already underway to democratize art within the art world via collectives, alternative spaces, etc., as well as the rich history of discriminating found object-finding from Duchamp to Richard Prince and beyond.) Kottke's list includes ffffound.com, Your Daily Awesome, and VVork as examples of sites that offer "designers and design aficionados a constant flood of typographic morsels, interesting photos, arresting new art, and the like."

Kottke doesn't differentiate between art and morsels and Johnson, by including Nasty Nets in her diatribe that this lack of focus spawns mediocrity, was, in effect, issuing a challenge to Nasty to explain how they are different from the sites Kottke mentions.

Some Nasty Netters rose to the occasion and posited Nasty as a virtual Parisian cafe where art is discussed and trial balloons floated, or a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon, Domain or Dimension). One saw it as an opportunity to attack Johnson, and some internet weirdos piled on.

So I disagree with wizardishungry. The "split," rather than being generational, was more between the polite and the rude, and between people who valued Johnson's criticism and those who responded by attacking her.

My own contribution was to note that since Nasty and some Nasty Nets users are being validated by at least one major art institution, they are open to criticism as an "art blog." Some may have characterized this as "hating" but it was really just an attempt to "up the ante" on the discussion. And be a jerk.

Update: edited slightly after spending a bit more time perusing the sites on Kottke's list. I had forgotten that a lot of Your Daily Awesome is, in fact, awesome. But there's something about the daily format and the endless flood of images that has a leveling effect, which is also VVork's problem. That's a dilemma inherent to digital media and blogging, in that it's so damn easy to pop up a jpeg. As opposed to museum curating or even magazine editing where it takes a long time and mucho dinero to assemble content, and things therefore have to count more.

Update 2: Nasty Nets could never be mistaken for VVork or Your Daily Awesome, because the content is overall too computercentric and self-mocking. Where it might need to be careful is in looking too much like B3TA, 4Chan, ebaum's world, or somethingawful.com. All these sites are pulling from the same pool of internet fun and awfulness. What's different is attitude or a certain "art mindset"--but that could be easily lost if a consumer sees only a string of posts with too many obvious "memes." Is that bad? Johnson thinks so, and I occasionally think so.

- tom moody

November 2nd, 2007 at 3:23 pm

Posted in general